NFL: 25 Most Surprising Pro Bowl Picks This Century: 10. 2008 Marion Barber III
The Dallas Cowboys have been fooled into thinking someone might be a superstar more times than once. It happens at every position. There are the Miles Austins, the Quincey Carters, and the Percy Howards that gave the Cowboys fans hope that never materialized into a successful career. Marion Barber III was the running back of the future for the Cowboys until he wasn’t.
Barber’s Pro Bowl year came when he wasn’t even the starter. In 2008, Julius Jones was the Cowboys starting running back. However, despite starting exactly zero games, Barber had over 400 more yards than Jones did. He didn’t get to 1,000 yards, though. Yet, he still made the Pro Bowl.
It’s rare that a running back could make it to the Pro Bowl without even breaking the 1,000-yard milestone. What makes this even stranger was there were 17 players who rushed for 1,000 yards in 2007. Barber was 18th in rushing that year, yet he was one of the players to represent the NFC. Clinton Portis and Edgerrin James both had more than 1,200 yards for new franchises and they didn’t make the Pro Bowl.
Barber was expected to be the next big back for the Cowboys. He never hit that peak. His best season wasn’t even as good as more than a dozen other backs in the league.